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Download The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, by Glen Weldon Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Glen Weldon Narrator: Glen Weldo Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A witty, intelligent cultural history from NPR book critic Glen Weldon explains Batman’s rises and falls throughout the ages—and what his story tells us about ourselves.

Since his creation, Batman has been many things: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy Pop-art sensation; a pointy-eared master spy; and a grim and gritty ninja of the urban night. For more than three quarters of a century, he has cycled from a figure of darkness to one of lightness and back again; he’s a bat-shaped Rorschach ink blot who takes on the various meanings our changing culture projects onto him. How we perceive Batman’s character, whether he’s delivering dire threats in a raspy Christian Bale growl or trading blithely homoerotic double-entendres with partner Robin on the comics page, speaks to who we are and how we wish to be seen by the world. It’s this endlessly mutable quality that has made him so enduring.

And it’s Batman’s fundamental nerdiness—his gadgets, his obsession, his oath, even his lack of superpowers—that uniquely resonates with his fans who feel a fiercely protective love for the character. Today, fueled by the Internet, that breed of passion for elements of popular culture is everywhere. Which is what makes Batman the perfect lens through which to understand geek culture, its current popularity, and social significance.

In The Caped Crusade, with humor and insight, Glen Weldon, book critic for NPR and author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, lays out Batman’s seventy-eight-year cultural history and shows how he has helped make us who we are today and why his legacy remains so strong.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Smart, witty and engrossing.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[A] smart, engaging dissection of Batman’s pulpy comic-book roots, his rise to campy ‘60s TV stardom, his takeover of toy shelves, and his resurrection as the dark knight of the silver screen.”


  • “A roaring getaway car of guilty pleasures—film gossip, comic-book esoterica, hilarious tales of nerd rage…Weldon writes with humor and Day-Glo élan.”

    New York Times

  • “If you’re a Bat-neophyte, this is an accessible introduction; if you’re a dyed-in-the-Latex Bat-nerd, this is a colorfully rendered magical history tour redolent with nostalgia.”

    Washington Post

  • "A great read for those who are proud Gothamites, those less initiated, and those who flip the switch on the Bat-Signal in order to find themselves. . . .A sharp, deeply knowledgeable and often funny look at the cultural history of Batman and his fandom.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Simply put, The Caped Crusade is the best book I’ve read this year…Highly addictive reading, with just the right blend of comic book history and nerd culture analysis.”

    Comic Book Herald

  • “Excellent, insightful…Weldon has crafted that rare jewel: a book of comics analysis that nerds and ‘normals’ alike can enjoy.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Sprawling in scope, yet written with breezy flair…An enthusiastic, immersive, entertaining guide for both die-hard Batfans and curious onlookers.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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